SRK: 'I fell in love with Sairaji...'


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Dec. 18 -- Last Sunday, Dilip Kumar turned 89. Shah Rukh Khan, who was at the private celebration at his residence in Pali Hill, admits that he had gone intending to stay for just 10 minutes but was there for an hour and-a-half.

"I could have stayed on for another two hours but it was getting late. I don't sleep at night but I didn't want to keep Dilip saab and Sairaji awake too. So I took leave," he smiles.

Dilip Kumar is an old friend of his father, Taj Mohammed Khan, and today, with both his parents gone, Saira Banu and he are like the parents he no longer has.

With a smile Shah Rukh recalls how when he arrived at the party, Sairaji got a little formal, telling Dilip saab, "Shah Rukh aaya hai (Shah Rukh is here)," to which he responded saying, "Yeh toh apna hi bachcha hai na, kahin nahin jaana hai isse, hamara hai na (He is our child, he can't go anywhere)."

His words, straight from the heart, drew an answering nod from both Sairaji and Shah Rukh with her telling him, "Yes, you are the son we never had," and messing up his hair, as is her usual practice. However, Shah Rukh being Shah Rukh, adds cheekily, "Even though Sairaji looks on me as her son, she's the only woman in the world I fell in love with while watching her movies with my father. She was the coolest chick of the 1960s and even though it may not sound appropriate today, I think she still is that."

'Bhai batuur, bhai battuur, ab jaayenge kitni door...' from Padosan (1968) is one of Shah Rukh's favourite Saira Banu songs. Humming it, he requested her for a dance that was one of the highpoints of the evening. "When I was young, I was often told that I look like Dilip Kumar, but that evening, sitting close to him and holding his hand, I realised how grossly mistaken everyone one was. Even at 89, with those eyes, lips and skin, he is a beautiful man," raves Shah Rukh. He says that he feels honoured to be a part of a film industry that boasts of artistes like Dilip saab, Sairaji, Amitabh Bachchan, Amrish Puri, Dev Anand, Sadhana, and Mumtaz, who he recently met at the airport. "Also, Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Madhuri (Dixit), people I've grown up watching and idolosing," he adds. "When I meet them and talk to them, I feel so blessed."